January 8, 2024 | David F. Coppedge

Drunk Theory of the Brain Proposed

Humans got big brains from alcohol?
What were these evolutionists drinking?


A Neanderthal walked into the Hominid Bar, and ordered the usual. A Homo erectus couple looked at him and asked, “Why the big brain?” He responded, “It’s some juice I cooked up called Darwine. You should try it. You’ll evolve faster and discover rationality.”

A joke like that is deserving for three authors of a new just-so story, How the Human Got Its Big Brain. Believe it or not, the Darwine-drunk evolutionists sent a new theory up the flagpole to see if anybody salutes: “Fermentation technology as a driver of human brain expansion.” Another word for “fermentation technology” is moonshining: the making of rotgut home brew, mountain dew, white lightning. Oh, but they will complain, by “fermented” we also mean cheese, yogurt and Bud Light. Sure. We all know what they really mean: drunk people are the brainy ones.

Bob Yirka, a lead writer for Phys.org who never saw an evolutionary just-so story he didn’t like, describes this new idea:

Researchers suggest use of natural fermentation may have led to early human brain size increase (Phys.org, 4 Dec 2024). Big brains and short colons were the prize for the first human ancestors who tried firewater with their cheese.

A trio of researchers with varied backgrounds is suggesting in an article published in the journal Communications Biology that eating naturally fermented foods may have led to an increase in brain size for early humans. In their paper, Katherine Bryant, an evolutionary neuroscientist at Aix-Marseille Université, Christi Hansen, a dietician at Hungry Heart Farm and Dietary Consulting, and Erin Hecht, a biologist at Harvard University, suggest that eating naturally fermenting foods may also have led to a decrease in the size of the colon.

Ah yes, Harvard, where anti-semites go to chant for genocide and plagiarists rise to leadership.

Prior research has shown that the brain size of humans has increased dramatically over the past 2 million years, and during the same period, the human colon has decreased in size by approximately 74%. The researchers say the two changes are likely connected and that both may have come about as early humans began eating foods that were naturally fermented.

The early hominids learned this before managing fire, you see. They didn’t need to cook. All they needed to do was put some grapes in barrels in the cave cellar.

But cooking, they point out, requires some degree of fire management, which would require a larger brain than early man had evolved. Fermentation, on the other hand, happens naturally. To benefit from it, early humans would not have had to do anything more than pile new food on top of already fermenting food in hidden places—like nooks and crannies in a cave, or even a hole in the ground. Notably, putting food in a hole in the ground could easily have started as a means of preventing other animals or even people from finding and eating it.

It could have, sure. Any observational evidence? Any home videos from the cave, perhaps? And did Yirka and the 3 Darwinos measure the colon length of any hominids? We thought all they had were bones. Maybe these winos have better divination tools than most “researchers” at Harvard. They probably keep their tools in the fridge ready for when inspiration strikes.

Yirka is totally under the influence by the end of his article. The fermenting fluids “could have” led to brain growth. In his imagination’s eye, after the hominids learned the art of inebriation, well then: logic, philosophy and science could not be far behind. He hallucinates:

As humans began eating more fermented food, the researchers suggest, their gut organs began to shrink. As the shrinking gut used less energy, more energy extracted from the food could be used by the brain. That could have led to brain growth and the cognitive abilities that went along with it. From there, the larger brain could have allowed for learning how to ferment foods intentionally, leading to even smaller colons and larger brains.

Intentionally? Is that how intelligent design evolved, too?

Fermentation technology as a driver of human brain expansion (Bryant, Hansen and Hecht, Communications Biology, 23 Nov 2023). This is the official just-so story paper. It is full of the e-word “evolution” in the body of the article and in the references: 69 mentions in all.

The three Darwinos try to soften their theory a bit by distinguishing between internal fermentation (performed by some gut bacteria) and external fermentation, when the human ancestors accidentally discovered that fermented fruit is good for food, a delight to the eyes, and to be desired to make one wise. Soon, they were developing “fermentation technology” to get more wisdom (burp!).

Fermentation allows for the proliferation of non-harmful or beneficial strains which out-compete harmful strains. For example, by-products of fermentation include alcohol and acid, which inhibit further microbial growth, effectively preserving the food. There are other food storage techniques whose effective timescales are within that of fermentation, such as smoking, drying, freezing, and salting (notably, often used in combination with fermentation). However, compared to these other methods, we propose that fermentation may have been accomplishable more easily, across a wider range of environments, and by earlier, smaller-brained, less cognitively-complex ancestors.

Even a dumb brute could get good at moonshine “technology,” they suggest. Funny that chimps never tried it.

It cannot be discounted that early fully-human created beings discovered a taste for ethyl alcohol, and may have learned to like it. Some of the earliest cuneiform tablets from Sumeria give recipes for beer. The crazy part of the Darwino hypothesis, though, is that alcohol drove hominid ancestors to evolve big brains, and as a consequence, cognitive complexity and semantic language emerged as by-products. If that were true, alcoholics should have huge brains like aliens in some movies and be teaching relativity theory. They should be curing cancer and writing AI programs about How to Find the Missing Socks.

Do these Darwinos have any evidence to back up their Fermentation Hypothesis? Yes! Why just look at all the people who like alcohol. A taste for liquor, therefore, must have evolved! And for proof, look—they all have big brains, too!

If our hypothesis is correct, then we might expect to find evolved innate preferences for beneficial fermentation products or evolved innate aversions to dangerous byproducts of “off” fermentation. Interestingly, it appears that many of the most disparately-regarded foods—seen by some as prized delicacies, and by others as supremely unappetizing—are fermented: for example, thousand-year eggs, natto, and Limburger cheese. These preferences appear to be highly culturally specific, which might be adaptive given the high cultural diversity of fermentation practices and the risks of consuming a ferment gone awry. The same flavors or odors which might signal “good” food in one culture could emanate from “off” ferments in another.

There you have it. “External fermentation [was] a driver of early hominin brain expansion.” Our ancestors couldn’t help themselves. Evolution drove them to drink.

Hey, it’s just a hypothesis, they admit. Being Darwinians, the authors don’t need to prove it. Someone will work on this in the land of Futureware: (Tomorrowland). Meanwhile, their just-so story passed peer review, didn’t it? And Nature published it, didn’t they? Stop criticizing. This is Darwinian “research.”

Future research could address the extent to which preferences for fermented products are innate, cultural, or may be the product of gene-culture coevolution. For example, sour taste abilities have been proposed to have co-evolved with the production of fermented foods. Notably, preferences for sour or acidic foods are relatively rare in the animal kingdom. Human food preferences are highly variable across individuals and cultures and are culturally learned, a phenomenon which may be adaptive. Are preferences for fermented foods more susceptible to cultural learning than other food preferences? Are they more sensitive to experience in a developmental critical period, and/or less flexible after this period closes? Are they heritable, either genetically or epigenetically?

They don’t know, and they don’t have to know. Darwinian just-so stories pass peer review no matter how lame. Why? Critics are kept out of sight in a soundproof booth behind one-way glass.

This preference may be an evolved mechanism which emerged because an attraction to these flavors was adaptive in our shared past.

Their research finished, the Darwinos left the lab and headed for Happy Hour—a distinction without a difference.

Tiny bubbles in the Darwine,
Make them happy, make them feel fine.
Tiny bubbles make them warm all over
Passing peer review no problemo every time.

Addendum: In the cave bar story, the hominid went home and his skull exploded. Evolution’s drunk watchmaker forgot to increase the skull size when the Darwine made his brain expand.

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  • glenroy says:

    Dear Mr Coppedge, I have noticed several times where you have mentioned protestors calling for the genocide of Israel. I am surprised your highly tuned baloney detector hasn’t raised your eyebrows. 25,000 dead Palestinian civilians, mostly women and children, since Oct 7 along with the Nazi speak from Israeli leaders would indicate that an actual genocide is underway. And it isn’t being conducted by Palestinians! In fact the UN has declared that genocide is happening but aren’t sure if it is their problem. Besides, the US torpedoes all resolutions for ceasefire and peace put to the UN. The media hides Israeli genocide by proclaiming protestors against Israel are calling for genocide!? Only in the west are Israel’s blatant actions being obfuscated. God says, I will honour those who honour me and I will curse those who curse me, and Righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a reproach to any people. God’s favour can not be on Israel, not the west for that matter. Regards, Glen

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